Ministry says status change not feasible

EARLY this year, Selangor state government officials met up with the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Ministry to follow-up on the status of the Hulu Selangor District Council (MDHS), Kuala Langat District Council (MDKL) and Kuala Selangor District Council’s (MDKS) application for municipality status last year.

Local Government Committee chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah said that during the meeting, the ministry indicated they were not in favour of the upgrade of the three district councils.

“As for the applications from MDHS, MDKL and MDKS, the ministry informed us that the three councils did not meet some of the criteria set by Selangor State Economic Planning Unit (Upen).

“We were also informed that the Ministry had also frozen applications from a few municipal councils throughout the country who had applied for city status,” said Ean Yong.

“We have no objection if the district council becomes a municipal council.

“Our priority is for the council to provide good service especially maintaining cleanliness throughout its area.

“Kuala Langat District Council is the most qualified among the three councils as it is enjoying rapid development and has good road networks,’’ he said.

Asked about the three councils meeting conditions such as a minimum population of 200,000 and an annual income of above RM60mil; Ean Yong said seeking municipality status was not confined to factors such as population and annual income.

“Criteria such as proper enforcement, cleanliness and providing good public service are also very important to gain high marks and there is still room for improvement,’’ he said.

Ean Yong added that the councils felt that upgrading to a municipality would allow them to generate higher income, upgrade the position of their staff and allow them to have a bigger budget.

“They can still do this without being upgraded.

In fact, upgrading the status of the district council can have both positive and negative results.

“The positive impact is it will be the increase wages of staff and generate high income.

“The down side is that residents and businesses would have to pay higher assessment.

“With the current economic situation, we feel that the move to seek municipal status is not feasible,’’ he said.

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